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November 15, 1996     The Message
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15 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 .Commentary-. Parable of the talents: Working while waiting GOSpel Commentary for the employer is, and that he was several comparisons. The man who calls his ser- !7, 1996: Thirty. Ordinary Time: Matthew 25:14.30 e of the talents is in a series of parables by Matthew to deal with the of the delay of Jesus' vic- for judgment of the The technical term for the s in early Church is "parousia?' The let- the Gospel of d quite clear that the ii:' i % By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST afraid to invest the money entrusted to him because he might have suf- fered loss rather than gain. What was entrusted to him is taken away and he is punished by being thrown "into the outer darkness, where peo- ple will weep and gnash their teeth." This final phrase is a favorite of : Matthew. He uses it six times in his gospel. Parables have a life of their own. They tend to grow from situa- tion to situation, from generation to generation, as good stories should parousia was, at hand. Words of Jesus in the Gospel of these: "The time is at hand." Apparently not. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke, writ- or more after Mark, had to deal,with problem. Luke portrays Jesus as saying, If you, 'The time is at hand, do not fol- 21:8. Luke also has other ways of the problem, while Matthew uses four the delay of the parousia, the the parable of the talents. goes on a long journey He puts his a kind of blind trust wilich he entrusts to To three servants he entrusts an the ability of each servant. two of the servants invest their .mOney and double the amount. The third money. After a long time the servants are asked to give a nts entrusted to them. The the doubling of their employer's duly rewarded. The third servant employer how difficult and greedy grow. If Jesus used this parable it may have been as an appeal to the religious leader- ship of his time and of his people. To them were entrusted the temple, the system of sacrifices, and the Scriptures. The group known as the Sadducees was notorious for adherence to the status quo, a static religion. This parable would have been an appeal to them to recognize that changing times and circumstances called for answers. An example: towards the end of Old Testament times and espe- cially due to the martyrdom of many pious Jews in the second century B.C. there was a growing belief in the resurrection of the dead. This was revelation in progress. The Sadducees refused to accept belief in a resurrection because they could find nothing explicit about it in the Torah, the first five books of our Bible. Matthew portrays Jesus showing them how even the Torah can be used to demonstrate a resurrection of the dead. Are the Sadducees alive and thriving in the Church of today? The Church after Jesus developed this parable into an allegory. Instead of one simple comparison, as is always the case in a parable, there are now vants and entrusts his assets to them is Jesus who left instructions for his disciples, and returned to his Father with a promise to return. The individual servants represent every Christian. According to Matthew the followers or disciples of Jesus have been entrusted "with the secrets of the kingdom of heaven," 13:11. In the missionary instructions of Matthew's gospel the disciples are told, "What I tell you in the dark speak in the light. What you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops." Jesus' instructions are the talents he gave to his disciples. Each Christian has an obligation to proclaim God's reign by word and deed. When the employer, now a symbol for Jesus, returns, all will have to answer for their response to Jesus' instructions. Matthew incorporates the parable of the tal- ents into his response to the crisis of faith caused by the failure of Jesus to return when and as expected in the parousia. For Matthew the parable becomes part of an attempt to explain a delay in the parousia. The obvious lesson he teaches is that of the preceding parable of the ten bridesmaids: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." From other sources we know that some Christians, even as today, were no longer working or doing anything but awaiting the parousia. This parable would have been a response of" Matthew to such a situation, to continue to be productive mem- bers of the Christian community and of society. In the final sentence Matthew claims there are conse- quences for such idleness. The nonproductive will be "east into the outer darkness where they will weep and gnash their teeth." Readings: Proverbs 31:10.13,19-20,30.31; I Thess 5:1-6. ST OGOOTEE NC. IN Pri "Patoka ty You Oney Golden Jubilarians Wilbur and Eileen (Hirsch) Young of Evansville will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 5 p.m., Nov. 16, at St. John Church, Day- light. A family dinner will follow in the church hall. The couple was married Nov. 14, 1946, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Haubstadt. They are the parents of five children: Mike of Valdosta, Ga., David of Haubstadt, and Ben and Keith, both of Evansville. Their son, Steve, is deceased. They have 13 grandchildren. Mr. Young retired from Old Ben Coal Company; Mrs. Young works part-time at Engelbrecht Orchard. 1N Kimball International Jasper, Indiana DF:WIG BROS. PACKING CO. ' I::RESH. MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA Golden Jubilarians Leo "Simon" and Evelyn (Seibert) Paul of St. Wendel will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 28 at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. A buffet and dance will follow at the Bauerhaus in Darmstadt. The couple was married on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28,1946, at St. Wendel Church. They are the parents of six children:Alvin Paul and Doris Taylor, both of Evansville, Daniel Paul of Fort Branch, Diana Bates of Hendersonville, enn., and Brenda Wolfgang of Nashville, Tenn. Their son, Mark Paul, is deceased. They have 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Mr. Paul is retired from the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad; Mrs. Paul is a homemaker.